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Monday, 17 October 2011

Manpreet seeks Team Anna support for ‘non-corrupt’ Third Front

Punjab polls PPP chief sees Anna factor crucial in Assembly elections, hopes Hazare camp does due diligence before backing any party

Taking a cue from Hisar bypoll where Team Anna gave its ‘defeat Congress’ poll cry, the People’s Party of Punjab has approached the Hazare camp to support the “non-corrupt” Third Front in Assembly elections scheduled for next year.

“Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption crusade will be an important factor in the 2012 elections. I have spoken to both Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sosodia to support us. They know about us. The final decision on whom to support lies with them. But I do hope they do so with due diligence after a background check on all the three—Akalis, Congress and the Third Front,” PPP president Manpreet Badal said.

Though Team Anna has announced that it will canvass in five poll-bound states against the Congress if the Central government fails to get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed in the winter session of Parliament, it has made it clear that team’s policy is not to support a particular party.

“They may give a poll cry against the Congress directly on the Jan Lokpal Bill. But as part of its anti-graft crusade, they cannot ask people to vote for the ruling Akali Dal-BJP alliance which is involved in transport, sand and cable television scams. So, it is the PPP-led Third Front that will finally emerge as the non-corrupt alternative,” Badal said.

Uneasy over Team Hazare’s call in Hisar, Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh accused them of betraying their anti-graft agenda by indirectly supporting the corrupt.

“If Anna Hazare comes to Punjab during elections to support the Akali-BJP alliance, I hope before doing so, he verifies the credentials of the Akali and BJP leaders. Hazare’s very purpose will get defeated if he supports the Akali-BJP government, which is the most corrupt. After all, it is the question of Anna’s own credibility and that of his crusade against corruption,” he said.

However, senior Congress leaders admit that Anna’s poll cry against Congress could jeopardise the party’s hopes of coming to power in the state.

And that is one of the reasons why Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has welcomed Team Anna to campaign in Punjab against corruption during polls. Terming the Congress as most corrupt, he said his party was firm on Anna’s Jan Lokpal Bill and fully supports it.


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